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EMBARGOED

A reporter's PressPass is required to access this story until the embargo expires on 18-Feb-2016 5:00 PM EST

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The History of Hemodialysis Sheds Light on the Ethical Use of Limited Medical Resources

As medical research continues to generate new technologies and drugs for a wide variety of uses, questions arise regarding how such resources should be used and who should have access to them. A new article addresses these questions, using the history of hemodialysis as a guide.

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Rat Study Shows that Renal Denervation Helps to Bring Drug-Resistant Hypertension under Control

Most clinical studies have shown that renal denervation—a procedure that disrupts the nerves in the kidneys and prevents them from relaying signals—can treat drug-resistant hypertension, although a number have shown the procedure to be ineffective. A new study in American Journal of Physiology—Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology supports that renal denervation can treat hypertension and suggests that failures may be due to incomplete procedure. This research is highlighted as one of this month’s “best of the best” as part of the American Physiological Society’s APSselect program.

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Study Shows National Underutilization of Pre-Emptive and Early Kidney Transplants, Despite the Benefits for Patients

A kidney transplant is a life-changing and life-saving procedure. Yet, a new study conducted by Mayo Clinic and the University of Michigan shows that only one-third of patients who ultimately receive a living donor kidney transplant receive it pre-emptively (i.e., before starting dialysis). Less than two-thirds receive a transplant either pre-emptively or within a year of starting dialysis.

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Small Reduction in Food Intake May Be Enough to Slow Polycystic Kidney Disease

A small reduction in food intake—less than required to cause weight loss—dramatically slowed the development of a common genetic disorder called autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) in mice, a new study in American Journal of Physiology—Renal Physiology reports. There are no approved treatments for ADPKD in the U.S.

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Dietary Changes May Help Postpone Dialysis in Patients with Chronic Kidney Disease

• Five patients with severely reduced kidney function would need to adhere to a ketoanalogue-supplemented very low–protein diet to avoid a >50% reduction in kidney function or the need for dialysis in 1 patient

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Drug Provides Better Kidney Transplant Survival Rates Than Current Standard of Care

For the first time, an immunosuppressive agent has shown better organ survival in kidney transplant recipients than a calcineurin inhibitor, the current standard of care, according to a worldwide study led by UC San Francisco and Emory University investigators.

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Mitochondrial DNA Levels in the Blood May Predict Risk of Developing Chronic Kidney Disease

High levels of mitochondrial DNA in the blood was linked with a 25% reduced risk of developing chronic kidney disease compared with low levels.

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Report Identifies Positive News on Kidney Disease in the U.S., Yet Challenges Remain

The annual data report from the United States Renal Data System (USRDS) reveals both positive and negative trends in kidney disease in the U.S.

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Finding a Living Donor Has Many Advantages for Patients Needing Kidney Transplant

More than 120,000 people are currently on the kidney transplant waiting list, some waiting anywhere from four to six years. Some of those people will die before the new kidney comes. Asking a family member or friend to donate a kidney might be difficult, but it has many advantages without affecting the donor.

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New Tool Estimates Looming Risk of Kidney Failure in People with Kidney Disease

An online tool combining results of common medical tests can accurately estimate the risk of whether someone with chronic kidney disease will develop kidney failure in the next two to five years, an international team of researchers led by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has found.

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Racial Disparities in Kidney Transplantation Rates Eased by New Allocation System

Year-old changes to the system that distributes deceased donor kidneys nationwide have significantly boosted transplantation rates for black and Hispanic patients on waiting lists, reducing racial disparities inherent in the previous allocation formula used for decades, according to results of research led by a Johns Hopkins transplant surgeon.

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Chronic Kidney Disease Prevalence Varies Greatly Across Europe

• The prevalence of chronic kidney disease varies across European countries, ranging from 3% to 17% • Differences in rates of diabetes, hypertension, and obesity—which are risk factors for chronic kidney disease—do not account for this variation.

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Screening Male Kidney Transplant Candidates for Prostate Cancer May Do More Harm Than Good

• Among male kidney transplant candidates, prostate cancer screening was not associated with improved patient survival after transplantation. • Screening increased the time to listing and transplantation for candidates under 70 years old with elevated prostate specific antigen levels. • Compared with candidates who were not screened, screened candidates had a reduced likelihood of receiving a transplant regardless of their screening results.

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50th Recipient in UAB Kidney Chain Shares His Personal Journey to Transplant

North Carolina resident Jerry Phillips has known since 2001 that he would one day need a kidney transplant. Fourteen years later, his need was fulfilled by a stranger and his transplant surgery performed by a friend.

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Nutritional Vitamin D Supplements Do Not Help Treat Anemia in Dialysis Patients

Vitamin D2 supplements taken for 6 months did not reduce dialysis patients’ need for anemia drugs that stimulate red blood cell production.

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Dietary Cocoa Flavanols Improve Blood Vessel Function in Patients with Kidney Dysfunction

Ingesting a drink rich in cocoa flavanols improved blood vessel function and reduced diastolic blood pressure in patients with kidney failure.

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The Leonard C. Goodman Institute for Investigative Reporting Is Now Accepting Submissions

The deadline for this round of proposals is January 15, 2016. Candidates will be notified of decisions by the end of February 2016. The Institute pays a competitive rate--and covers expenses--for investigative reporting that advances social and economic justice. All stories are published in In These Times magazine and on InTheseTimes.com.

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More Attention Needed to Results of Simple Test of Kidney Function

Kidney disease in the United States is both common and under-diagnosed, but two new studies led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers suggest that paying close attention to results of a simple blood test can help predict the likelihood that patients are headed for kidney failure or death.

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